Parents upset over Gilbert Junior High school closing for Gilbert Classical Academy

GILBERT, AZ - Parents and teachers at Gilbert Junior High School are upset with changes that may be coming their way.

At the end of the school year, the East Valley school will shut its doors and open as the Gilbert Classical Academy.

"To just throw that away after all these years when it is the oldest school is a disservice to the parents and the students," parent Holly Reycraft said.

Parents say they just learned about the decision this week, and have had very little chance to voice their input on the move. They feel the school board is favoring GCA, a high level, "honor" school, and discarding the less affluent junior high.

"I am upset about it because they have not given the community a voice and come forward and let them be a part of this decision," Reycraft said.

The Gilbert Public School District has begun holding meetings to address parents' and students' concerns with the planned transition.

Teachers say they only found out a week ago they would be transferred.

"It concerns me and it baffles me," teacher Scott Tolbert said.

They say it's because the junior high school has about 700 students, while GCA, with about 400, needs room to grow.

"They told us that we were going to be repurposed. We had heard rumors over the last year, and we kind of had an idea, because we are low in population, we are low on the totem pole," Tolbert said.

The 43 staff and faculty will be incorporated into other schools, as will the students, but parents feel they are still losing something.

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